National Umbrella Day - February 10th.

A day when English men would carry umbrellas in honour of the public's acceptance of this useful article

Gerry Costello

National Umbrella Day, a tradition from the 18th century, casts a little shade on February 10th each year. The day honors one of the world’s most useful inventions, the umbrella! Not only does the umbrella help keep us dry from the rain, but it also protects us from the heat of the sun. You can also use an umbrella as a fashion accessory. While the umbrella is primarily practical, they also decorate cocktails. These brightly colored paper umbrellas make fun party favors, especially when visiting sunny locations. Umbrellas have also found their way into the art world. Their color and shape make sharp silhouettes. They also serve as the canvas for art. In movies, umbrellas play a role, too. For example, they played vital parts in Singing in the Rain in 1952 and Mary Poppins in 1964.

Interesting Umbrella TidBits:

The word umbrella comes from the Latin word umbra, meaning shade or shadow. Brolly is a slang word for umbrella, often used in Britain, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. Bumbershoot is a fanciful Americanism for an umbrella from the late 19th century.

The basic umbrella was invented over four thousand years ago. There is evidence of umbrellas in the ancient art and artifacts of Egypt, Assyria, Greece, and China.

We can credit the Chinese for being the first to protect us from the rain. Their paper parasols received a layer of wax followed by lacquer that made the umbrella withstand the elements.

One of the first umbrella shops opened in 1830 at 53 New Oxford Street in London, England. The shop, operated by James Smith and Sons, still operates regular hours at the same location today.

In 1928, Hans Haupt’s pocket umbrellas appeared. Then, in 1969, Bradford E. Phillips, the owner of Totes Incorporated of Loveland, Ohio, obtained a patent for the first “working folding umbrella.”

Umbrellas have also been fashioned into hats as early as 1880 and as recently as 1987.

Photographers use umbrellas with a reflective inside as a diffusion device when employing artificial lighting and as a glare shield and shade, most often in portrait situations.

HOW TO OBSERVE National Umbrella Day

  • Spring for a new umbrella and prepare for rainy days ahead.
  • Use an umbrella on a sunny day.
  • Have an umbrella photoshoot modeling your favorite rain gear and umbrella.
  • Order a drink that comes with a paper umbrella.
  • Watch movies with iconic umbrella scenes such as Singing in the Rain and Mary Poppins.
  • Use National Umbrella Day to post on social media.


While the origins of the utilitarian holiday remain a mystery, the world has been celebrating it since at least the 18th. century. However, another celebration on the calendar promotes opening umbrellas indoors. The entire month of March recognizes the umbrella, too! There is a superstition surrounding the act of opening an umbrella indoors. Whether it’s true or not may depend on many variables. However, opening an umbrella indoors can be awkward, especially if it’s a tight space or crowded. While we use umbrellas in the rain or sunshine, the wind tends to be the umbrella’s nemesis. Windy days turn umbrellas inside out and can make them ineffective at keeping out the rain.


This page was added on 01/08/2022.

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